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Europe:Shares open lower but FTSE rally continues
[MILAN] European shares were lower in early deals on Monday, weighed down by banking and auto stocks, though weakness in the pound helped Britain's FTSE rise to a fresh record high.
Shares in Luxottica and Essilor both rallied more than 10 after agreeing on a 46-billion euro merger deal to create a global powerhouse in the eyewear industry. Luxottica hit a one-year high, while Essilor surged to its highest since the end of September.
By 0816 GMT the pan European STOXX index was down 1.3 per cent, while the FTSE added 0.1 per cent, with a stronger mining sector helping it touch a fresh record high.
In the banking sector, the Italian banking index underperformed with a fall of 1.5 per cent after rating agency DBRS cut Italy's credit rating on Friday in a move which could raise their borrowing costs.